ONE hundred and four years after young Australian and New Zealand soldiers were faced with heavy gunfire while landing on a beach on the Turkish peninsula, citizens are being implored to never forget the supreme sacrifices made by so many in their efforts to ensure we lived in peace.
ANZAC Day commemorations began in the cool pre-dawn at Barham, Cohuna and Kerang, attracting large gatherings of citizens, both young and old.
Dwindling numbers of war veterans were acknowledged at later morning commemoration marches and services across district communities.
The commencement of the battle at Gallipoli that began on this day in 1915 is recognised as the first example of the resilience and mateship of young Australians against the fight of an oppressor and subsequent gallantry in other World War 1 battles and in conflicts since is remembered annually on a solemn day of remembrance.
The whole Gallipoli operation cost 26,111 Australian casualties, including 8141 deaths.
The bravery of those soldiers gave rise to the term ANZAC - Australian New Zealand Army Corp.
Wars have caused the deaths of 102,872 Australians and countless thousands have been wounded or returned suffering permanent disabilities.
A poem reflecting on the exploits and mateship of the men of the 5th Battalion was read at the Cohuna dawn service by Thomas Mackenzie, who remarked that many young local men enlisted and served in that group.
Young children were prominent in number at all district commemorations, heartening Returned and Services League officials who fervently hope that the sacrifices of our forefathers and mothers is never forgotten.
Kerang's dawn service was followed by a traditional gunfire breakfast.
Wreaths were laid at the foot of war memorials around the district before citizens gathered for commemoration services.
Ongoing support for war veterans and widows, already provided by the RSL and Legacy, now extends to the Military Brotherhood, a group of motorcycle enthusiasts, including former service personnel. The president of the Military Brotherhood's new district chapter was outlined at Kerang by its president, Cohuna farmer and photographer, Shayne Mostyn.
Lieutenant-Colonel Angela Trezise was guest speaker at Cohuna and Vietnam veteran, Catholic priest, Father John Tinkler spoke at Koondrook after the march from Barham.